Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Hands of Time

I recently found myself smack dab in the middle of being a part of the sandwich generation. Still a mother and now a daughter of two aging parents who need assistance with everyday life. While my older sister has taken on the brunt of the responsibility by choosing to have my parents add a residence on to her home occasions do arise where my help is needed to give her a break or to take over the care of my parents when she is unable to.

A recent last minute medical emergency in her family resulted in such a need. I found myself in the middle of three generations of family responsibilities.  I had a week long visit from my youngest daughter planned to celebrate her 21st birthday as a family. I would be making the one hour drive to my parents house as my daughter was driving to mine. There was no question that I wanted to be there as a support to my sister and my parents but I also wanted to be home for my daughter.

I was also going to be missing a school grandparents ice cream social that my six year old grandson had invited me to attend.

I made all of the needed arrangements on the home front to make sure that my daughter enjoyed her visit and Papa said that he would take off work to go to the ice cream social. My younger sister offered to cover for me while I came home for the day of my daughters actual birthday so that I could cook the birthday meal and treat that my birthday girl had requested.

El Pollo Fundido, chips, salsa, and guacamole!

My Beautiful Mother
and Grandma to the birthday girl.
(#22 and the youngest of the grandchildren)

I prepped for the birthday meal at my parents place. 

The birthday treat.

Ice Cream Balls with drizzled honey and whipped cream!

Me and my Girls

Who I wouldn't have without my parents!

So, as the hands of time move forward things change.

My parent's hands worked, served, and led the way for their family.

Today, I am grateful for their continuing example.
Graciously accepting change, the help of others, 
and an enduring love for family.

And one tomorrow, it will be a different time
when my children will find themselves 
in the same place I find myself today.

Sandwiched between the needs of
two generations.

I hope that I will be as gracious and accepting
as those whose time I follow.


  1. Ah, so sweet, love your mother. She looks great! You are lucky to have her and she is lucky to have all of you!

  2. Beautiful, loving post. A gracious and kind summation of what, I'm sure, was a challenge. You and your girls -- and your mother -- are truly lovely!

  3. As a fellow member of the Sandwich Generation, I can sympathize. Actually, I'm not technically a Sandwicher since my youngest child is 36, but I feel sandwiched! My dad is 94. He still lives alone but requires daily visits to help him with food and housework. Some days when it is time to go see him, I feel really stressed. But he is so easy and loving that by the time I leave, I have been uplifted. So I am happy to be a sort-of Sandwicher!

  4. Shelley, this post resonates with me on so many levels. Your words could be mine, also. I, too, am sandwiched between the needs of my beloved aging parents, my children and grandchildren. It's a fine line sometimes and one I hope I can walk with as much grace and strength as you do.

    You and all the generations of women in your family are beautiful. Happy 21st to your lovely daughter. That ice-cream dessert sounds wonderful!

  5. You are SUPER grandma, mom, and friend. I love you!

    As Sy says "You are the best grandma EVER!!!"

  6. Shelley you touched my heart. I have walked in your shoes. It is a hard juggling act and your heart is pulled in many directions at this time of your life. It is a beautiful time, too, and when it is over you will be grateful for every single minute you spent with your parents even if it means not having quite as many parties or quite as fancy get togethers.

  7. Thank you everyone. I appreciate the words from those who have been and continue to be in the middle of the needs of aging parents and the younger generations of our families.

    I treasure every moment I have with my parents!